My mom has been telling me to eat quinoa for a couple of years, but for some reason I haven't had much interest until now. If you're not familiar with it, quinoa is a grain that is unusually high in protein (16ish percent, as compared to rice which is about 7ish percent). It is very tiny, but expands to four times its original size after cooking. It has a nutty taste and a texture slightly more gummy than rice.
The reason I became interested lately is because I have been looking for high-protein foods to feed Henry, and quinoa is really a perfect baby food, as it is small, chewy and easily digested. For him, I have been mixing it with mashed up veggies or applesauce. So far he loves it.
My interest in quinoa also peaked recently due to a salad that I tried from the deli at our local Whole Foods-type store, Market of Choice, which was made of quinoa, feta cheese, tomatoes, red onion, and chopped up fresh spinach. I really wanted to figure out the dressing so I could make it at home.
So here is my best guess. It tasted very similar and was delicious.
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper
1) Rinse quinoa well before cooking, or it could taste bitter. Bring water and quinoa to boil, add a pinch of salt and lower heat. Simmer with lid on for 20 minutes.
2) Whisk oils, rice vinegar, & lemon juice in small bowl. Mix warm quinoa, spinach, red onion, feta and tomatoes in medium bowl and toss with dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate to allow flavors to marinate and serve cold.
***this makes a lot of dressing--you may want to save a little to moisten the salad when serving, as the warm quinoa tends to absorb much of the liquid.